Recording Industry Rep Suggests Parents Should Slap Their Children To Stop Piracy

from the mask-is-slipping dept

One of the many problems with the “guilty until proven innocent” approach to tackling unauthorized filesharing is that it’s not clear exactly who should get the punishment. For example, in France, we saw someone convicted not for infringement that he had committed, but something his then-wife had done and even admitted. And it’s not just spousal activity that is problematic, as TorrentFreak reports in this interesting case from Germany:

A ruling handed down yesterday by Germany’s highest court represents a blow to rightsholders in their quest to clamp down on illicit file-sharing. The court ruled that the parents of a teenager who had made available more than 1,100 songs on file-sharing networks can not be held responsible for their son’s infringements, nor be required to monitor or hinder his online activities.

What’s particularly interesting here is that Germany’s top court not only threw out the original fine, but did so without imposing any unreasonable conditions on the parents, for example by requiring them to spy on their child:

The Court ruled that the parents had met their parental obligations when they informed their child of “basic do’s and don’ts” including that file-sharing copyrighted content online is illegal.

Furthermore, the Court ruled that the parents were not required to monitor their child’s online activities nor install special software to restrict his online behavior. This would only be required should the parents have “reasonable grounds” to presume that their child would engage in infringing activities online.

Of course, not everyone was happy with this result, which could have major implications for imposing fines in Germany, since it seems likely that much unauthorized file sharing there as elsewhere is carried out by teenagers in their family homes. The blog pointed us to an interesting comment made by a representative of the music industry (original in German):

The case shines “a harsh light” on the fact that, for many parents, the concept of upbringing has become a foreign word, the legal representative of the music industry complained, according to the AFP news agency at the hearing before the federal court in Karlsruhe. While before “an occasional slap didn’t hurt”, today children are kept on a loose leash.

This hankering after the good old days when parents could hit children to cow them into submission is hardly surprising: it’s the physical equivalent of the disproportionate legal punishment the music industry would like to see meted out to all those caught doing naughty things online like sharing files without permission.

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Comments on “Recording Industry Rep Suggests Parents Should Slap Their Children To Stop Piracy”

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Anonymous Coward says:

‘This hankering after the good old days’ is what is keeping the Internet from progressing and innovators from developing new things as well. all because of the fear particular heads of certain industries have. they have either forgotten or ignored what got them to the stage they are at now. unfortunately though they are still trying to enjoy the monopolies that went with the advances that got them to this point. they need to let go because no one knows what the future holds but without giving it a try, we will never know

MrWilson says:

Re: Re:

Even if you did accept their false premise that “the good old days” were in fact good, there’s still the problem that multiple paradigms have shifted in multiple areas of society, industry, technology, law, and the economy and so reverting to how things were in “the good old days” simply can’t happen.

Scores of companies producing 35 mm film, 8 track tapes, VHS cassettes, etc. are not going to suddenly rise from the dead and consumers and investors aren’t going to financially support any that attempted to do so.

You can’t go back at this point.

You can’t put the genie back into the toothpaste tube, especially since it was never there to begin with.

SJ says:

In Germany it is illegal to slap your children:

Google Translation:

Contents ? 1631 and limits the child’s care

(1) The person concerned shall include in particular the obligation and the right to care for the child, to train, supervise, and to determine his whereabouts.

(2) Children have a right to non-violent upbringing. Physical punishment, psychological injuries and other degrading measures are inadmissible.

(3) The family court is to assist parents in the exercise at the request of the child’s care in appropriate cases.

out_of_the_blue says:

Okay, NOW 'the parents have "reasonable grounds" ', right?

So they can’t use this excuse twice.

As to your shameless use of “Big Media wants children slapped”, it’s a) not advocated in what’s quoted, and b) still entirely legal in the US for corrective purposes, and c) not disproportionate. Many kids suffer later from being let run wild, suddenly find society in general doesn’t just shake a finger at them for being “naughty”.

Anyway, another wrong decision from Germany proves nothing, but I bet you pirates DON’T agree with this part: “file-sharing copyrighted content online is illegal”!

All hail Mike “Streisand Effect” Masnick!
To properly honor Mike, I propose “Masnick Defect” as term for out-of-bounds self-aggrandizement such as years of trying to turn a single quip into fame.

anon says:

Re: Okay, NOW 'the parents have "reasonable grounds" ', right?

WOW you are really a nasty person, and downloading files has not been found as illegal under the copyright laws, uploading is, but as any society when they gain the ability to give back to someone who has helped them out they do. The moral and ethical use of torrent software is more than any middleman can handle as they are unethical and hate seeing anyone gain in nay way when it comes to content they have limited control of.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Okay, NOW 'the parents have "reasonable grounds" ', right?

“As to your shameless use of “Big Media wants children slapped”, it’s a) not advocated in what’s quoted, and b) still entirely legal in the US for corrective purposes, and c) not disproportionate.”

Actually, it is NOT a shameless use. And, in point of fact, while they are not directly advocating for that in said quote, it is quite obviously being hinted at. Your willful ignorance and attempt to dismiss outright what was pretty much all but flat out stated is just par for the course with you OotB.

It’s hilarious. You lambast Mike day in and day out for being pro-BIG COMPANIES and say he is constantly letting them get away with murder/not finger wagging enough. Yet here we have big companies saying “hit your kids goddamnit, we hate piracy” and you’re letting that slide and then criticizing the courts for making a ruling which you don’t like. And why? Because piracy, grr! Right?

Oh and you’re “All hail” thing got old some time back. Just fucking stop copy/pasting it already. Masnick Defect, huh? And what should we call what you appear to suffer from? Head up the ass-itis? Catchy as it may be…

Oh, and it appears Germany got it right. This decision, which is right as far as the German courts are concerned, OotB’s opinion not withstanding of course, proves something. It proves that at the end of the day you can’t hold others, for the most part, responsible for the actions of others. Especially actions they have no direct control over.

As for that part you bolded, I’ve yet to see anyone disagree. In fact, everyone here knows file sharing copyrighted content online is illegal. Mike has written articles about it more than once. HOWEVER, and here’s the important part you miss, a rather large majority of people (you know, all those individuals who make up a society), feel it either shouldn’t be or that it isn’t as big a deal as some make it out to be. Basically, they don’t feel it should be illegal and others just don’t care enough one way or another to form an opinion of it. With the exception of nutcases like you, AJ, bob, etc. But you all aren’t the majority. Thank god. Cooler heads have thus far prevailed. Barely.

I used to hate bob for being so stupid. Now I think I’ve shifted that hate to you.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Okay, NOW 'the parents have "reasonable grounds" ', right?

*** SIGH ***

I’m starting to miss the SOPA/PIPA shills from a year ago. At the very least they could argue intelligently and coherently for the most part.

Debating with Blue is like trying to debate with a Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. He’s mind-bogglingly stupid most of the time.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Okay, NOW 'the parents have "reasonable grounds" ', right?

Comparing average_joe to blue is just wrongful

You can understand AJ, he is coherent, he actually has conversations that inform and make you think, and I suspect AJ is now quite aghast at being compared to ootb and is slowly making dastardly plans to punish you 😉

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Okay, NOW 'the parents have "reasonable grounds" ', right?

Psssht, nah. AJ relishes the fact that Masnick has critics, even though his standards for qualified critics are horribly abysmal. It feels him with glee to know that someone is on his side.

Personally, though, I’ve noticed that out_of_the_ass has become far more grammatically correct and actually knows how to format his punishing walls of text this time. He’s started parroting the nonsense that joe posts since his reappearance. I’m not completely convinced that there’s completely no coincidence.

Even if they were different people, though, I swear they probably masturbate to each other’s existence.

Milton Freewater says:

Is this really news?

Ignorant, selfish people say ignorant, selfish things all the time. You don’t take a hateful stance for business and just switch all that off when you’re tipping back beers after work. A jerk is a jerk.

Also not news: I don’t understand out_of_the_blue’s posts anymore. Are you guys irradiating him or something? I feel like I’m reading “Flowers for Algernon.”

Anonymous Coward says:

So you’re saying if we pretend not to see him, he’ll pretend not to see us and disappear again?

Why pretend? The report button the community is using is very effective. You no longer have to pretend as in essence he isn’t there when I read the comments. I just skip over the hidden post, knowing its stupid to begin with.

OOTB hasn’t quit because it’s his job…it’s what he gets paid to do. Anyone else would have quit but that is evidently how he makes his money.

Thank you oh thank you Mike and the community. Once again, one can read the valuable comments and miss the troll.

Life is good.

Anonymous Coward says:

Judge William Adams beats daughter for using the internet (update)

There is the video showing the guy/judge beating his daughter because she fileshared and apparently to this day she doesn’t think it was wrong.

According to Ootb that is the threatment and upbringing he wants everybody to have, and the message appears to be that if you ever do anything wrong you should be physically reprimanded, but if you are a judge you can get away with stealing, because of course in the minds of Ootbs if you have any passing familiarity with the thief you are in on it too.

Anonymous Coward says:

There was a story some time ago where the kids of some music exec were caught downloading music. If I recall correctly, he said that he talked with them … so am I to believe that “talk” is a euphemism for slap – because they certainly were not ordered to pay six figures for their transgressions. And again we see that there are two sets of rules.

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